As the music industry stumbles into a totally new place, the number of artists actually selling serious quantities is astonishingly low.
At New Music Seminar, Tommy Silverman and Eric Garland (BigChampagne) rolled through a tirade of stats showing the extreme challenges that marketers and artists face. Sure, the album itself is waning, but these stats are still worth examining (Nielsen Soundscan is the data source).
*Albums that sold at least one copy in 2009: 98,000
*Albums selling more than 10,000 units in 2009: 1,319
*Albums selling more than 10,000 units in 2008: 1,515
*Albums selling more than 250,000 units in 2009: 85
*Albums selling more than 250,000 units in 2001: 214
*Albums selling more than 5,000 units in 2009: 2,058
*Albums selling under than 1,000 units in their first year of release: 92,601
*Number of albums selling less than 100 copies in 2009: 81,000